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South Korea puts a de facto ban on holding and trading of Cryptos by Govt. Officials

Mar 07, 2018 Posted /  1300 Views

South Korea puts a de facto ban on holding and trading of Cryptos by Govt. Officials

As proposed earlier by the government of the Republic of Korea, a de facto ban has been imposed on all government officials from holding and trading cryptocurrencies. The reports say that even if the crypto activities are not related to their job in any way, no public servant is allowed to hold onto cryptocurrencies and if found doing the same will be liable for disciplinary action.  

According to the Maeil Business Newspaper reports, South Korea has “issued a ban on virtual currency holdings and transactions to all government officials."One document entitled “Virtual currency holdings and transaction-related information for civil servants,” was released and the publication elaborated:

The personnel department requested that they [civil servants] refrain from holding and trading virtual currency even if there is no job relevance…This is the first time the government has formulated a virtual currency ban for all public officials.

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Call for Disciplinary Action

The de facto banning of Korean Government Officials from Holding and Trading of the Cryptocurrency was detailed in the publication. The publication cited the personnel affairs department demonstrating that if employees trade virtual currencies for their benefit, they “are in violation of the prohibition of forbearance obligations under the civil servants’ law,” particularly if trading is arranged during work hours. “Even if there is no job relevance,” the officials “could be subject to discipline,” the news outlet conveyed and quoted a high-ranking official explaining:

"The disciplinary issue is not a quantitative cut, but a problem of interpretation of the law. Each ministry should judge the possibility of discipline."

The efforts to coincide with the ban

Almost all government employees have been notified regarding the same and the Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC), the Fair Trade Commission, and other related departments have particularly warned their employees “to refrain from investing in the virtual currency,” the local media appended. Moreover, the head of the Office of Policy Coordinator, Hong Nam, states that all public officials are to do the same in January.

During past months active warnings have been circulated by the government to all its officials, and in last month specifically, the Korean Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission disseminated the “Code of Conduct Guide to Cryptocurrency” to all government departments and public agencies.

According to this document, the cryptocurrencies are now added to Article 12 of the Civil Servant Code of Conduct, forbidding public officials from using “the information learned during their duties to assist in trading or investing” in cryptocurrency. As an annexure, the FSS, which is an independent agency, commented that it would review and re-evaluate its code of conduct.

During the early days of the new year, a bill was proposed to oblige public officials to disclose their cryptocurrency investments. It was after the allegations made against some government employees, who were involved in insider trading using undisclosed information of future regulations as well as market manipulation.

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Tags: South Korea cryptos

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